A police investigation into how the body of a Charles Village woman ended up badly decomposed in a neighbor's apartment this month will continue after a state medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death, according to Baltimore police.
The body of Kristie Hufnagel, 41, was found July 21 in an apartment at 123 W. 29th Street, after police entered the apartment following the arrest of its lease holder, Marvin White, 67, on drug charges, said Anthony Guglielmi, a police spokesman.
White told police that Hufnagel, who lived in another apartment on the same floor, had come to his apartment earlier in the week so they could use cocaine together, Guglielmi said.
The mixed-income building, known as the Wyman House, has 168 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments and is owned by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.
Hufnagel's body was found badly decomposed — police at first were unable to identify her — and it remains unclear exactly how long she had been dead when police first entered the apartment, Guglielmi said.
"In the type of heat that I guess we'd been having that week, it's not uncommon for a body to decompose rather quickly," he said. "I don't think it was there for months."
The body was transported to the state medical examiner, who conducted an autopsy but was unable to determine a cause of death, largely because of the extent of decomposition, Guglielmi said.
Police are awaiting the results of a separate toxicology report, which will help determine whether drugs played a role in Hufnagel's death, he said.
White remains in police custody on the drug charges that first led police to his apartment and on separate drug charges filed against him after police found drug paraphernalia in his apartment, Guglielmi said.
Guglielmi said he did not know the specifics of those charges. Court records show only that White was charged with posession of marijuana and posession of paraphernalia July 23 for an incident occurring July 21.